Trauma 101

Trauma 101: Resourcing…Finding the Lip of the Pool Before You Dive Deep

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Trauma 101: Resourcing…Finding the Lip of the Pool Before You Dive Deep

It was an awful day. I was young, barely employed as a door-to-door salesperson for cable (and really, who can’t sell cable! me!!!), and had just gotten my umpteenth rejection. The world reeked of malaise and despair… then I looked up, at the most wonderful evening sky. The skies in New Mexico are special, of a blue not seen elsewhere, and as evenings will, that blue was multihued, deepening towards the horizon, backdrop to the faintest wisp of cloud, reflecting the setting sun. The despair melted, I could feel my heart warming, my chest expanding…and I reminded myself that this, too,...

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Trauma 101: Redeeming Stress

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Trauma 101: Redeeming Stress

I was a weird kid. Big surprise. When my friends and I played house, my favorite moment was nap time. In fact, I come from a proud lineage of nappers.  My mother’s favorite mantra was, why stand when you can sit, why sit when you can lie. So, as you can imagine, movement was not my friend, and I ended up a little chubby as well as asthmatic. ANY movement felt like “too much;” in elementary school, I could always be counted on to hold the rope, not jump it, and I WANTED to be the last one chosen for kick-ball, just in case being odd I needed to sit the game out. So the complaint of too...

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Trauma 101 Essentials: Grounding

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Trauma 101 Essentials:  Grounding

Before we do anything else in our sessions, we ground. I’ve been doing it so long and for so many years, that I’ve forgotten it is a new or poorly understood concept for many. Rina, one of my intellectual clients, head working overtime and body nowhere to be found (sound familiar?), reminded me when she spent the majority of one of our sessions trying to understand the concept. You can’t think grounding, you’ve got to feel it.  Imagine that your body is a live wire, downed by some horrible Nor’easter.  Sparks flying all over the place!  Trauma has that effect, so much...

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The Illusion of Safety, and How to Get Past It

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The Illusion of Safety, and How to Get Past It

There is an old story:  a heartless general, at the head of a ruthless army, devastates village after village.  He arrives at a temple and, to his surprise, finds the gate unlocked.  In the middle of the courtyard within kneels a monk.  The general dismounts, unsheathes his sword, and approaches the monk.  The monk fails to prostrate himself before the general, which offends him.  “Do you not know who I am? I am not afraid to kill you,” to which the monk replies, “Do you not know who I am? I am not afraid to die.” Trauma is the result of overwhelming stress, and the terror at...

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